You are here: [ RESOURCESMEGAN STEVENS: DRAKE LETTERS ► 10. DRAKE TO LOUISA 28 JULY 1854 ]

Drake Letters Index 9. Drake to Louisa 17 July 1854 ◄ ● ► 11. Drake to Louisa 4 August 1854
The Drake Letters
 
William Henry Drake (Constantinople) - Louisa Drake (London), 28 - 29 July 1854
Belle Vue Hotel, Pera, Constantinople
28th July 1854 1

 
My dearest Lu,
 
        My last I closed at Piræus on 22nd & left with Mr. Weir to send on to the Treasury – I got on board the French Steamer “Nil” (Nile) & we left Piræus soon after noon that day – She had on board a number of French Officers – Engineers Artillery Line, Hussars, and Doctors Commissaries & to crown all four French Spies going out to the Army   There were also two or three French ladies going to join their husbands at Constantinople – I had some trouble in getting a Berth & only that I blustered a little I should have been palmed off in to a Second Class berth with another person – but I threatened to go on board to “Gomer” & ask my Friend Admiral De Tinan 2 to send an Officer on board to see that I got what was right, this had the desired effect & there being no berth unoccupied & they did not wish to inconvenience the Officers, they gave me the Ladies Cabin which being the best place in the Vessel handsomely fitted up looking glasses, piano & velvet easy chairs & Sofas I graciously assented to & grumbled no more – The 23rd was very rough & blowing I did not feel it but the others did   In the Evening we saw Mytelene, Tenedos, Lemnos, Imbros crossed Besika Bay and at 9 came to anchor off a place called Derveish just inside the opening of the Dardanelles – numbers of Ships around wind bound   At 3½ on the 24th Up anchor & up W. H. D. to see what was to be seen at ½ past 5. We passed the true Dardanelles – the Castles of Europe & Asia, Sultanyeh Kalassi to Kelidbehar or Lock of the Sea the castle of Europe – very beautiful & tolerably well cultivated   Anchored at Gallipoli between 9 & 10 – Cholera raging among the French Troops   Some days they had lost from 70 to 100 men lately (yesterday) we hear 27 died   Two French Generals have died one a Son of Marshall Ney 3 – They have 10000 men there   most of the Officers on board & the Spies landed here much to their disgust –
 
The 4th 4 is the only English Regt. here I sent my card ashore for De Lisle 5 & the Commy. Genl. 6 just to let them know I was passing into Turkey   They have no Cholera the Troops are some two or three miles out A.C.G. Turner 7 & D.A.C.G. Mitchell 8 are stationed there – We arrived off the Seven Towers Constantinople at 8 A.M. on the 25th. The view all the way to the Golden Horn is magnificent – any book on Turkey describes it but none overpraise it. – We were put in Quarantine but lay all day within a few miles yards from the Shore surrounded by boats   D.A.C.G. Downes 9 came off in one to chat with me & I got my horse sent on shore in the Evening we got under weigh to go to the Quarantine Station a lazaretto at Anatoli Kawak up the Bosphoros near the entrance of the Black Sea – An awful bungle getting under weigh ran into two Ships against the Wall of the Seraglio Point, lost an Anchor & Chain, Smashed one boat and injured a Second which detained us so long that it was dark ere we started & midnight when we got to Anatoli Kawak – where we were put bag & baggage into boats & sent ashore to Lazaretto a beastly dirty hole – We had two French ladies one a Shopkeeper’s wife, decent people with us – The Queen’s Messenger Mr. Fendall 10 a very gentlemanly person & myself, & Mr. Servantes my clerk got a room cleaned out, we had our supper with us & made the best of it – At 7 next morning the Doctor (a Prussian) gave us pratigue 11 & we left not in the least sorry as 4 French Soldiers from Varna died in the night & many more were there ill. – We got a Kayik (Boat) & crossed to Buyukdere and thence to this by Steam boat   Disembarking on a pitch dark night I have lost one of my Portmanteaux with all my Uniform – pleasant, very. –
 
Here I found Smith 12 in charge – Edwards 13 – Actg. A.C.G. Willan 14 & Mr. D.C.G. Stickney 15 examining A/c! D.A.C.G. Montunaro 16 – Downes Potgieter 17    I dined with Smith on a quick chop & talked matters over – Mr. Filder seems generally detested & as far as may be despised   Everything goes on badly, no System, discourtesy & abuse are our Lot.   a pleasant prospect for me – At this Hotel are staying Major & Mrs. Neville – Mrs. N was a Miss Hayne 18 – rather singular is it not a nice looking person something between Mrs. Bedingfeld 19 & Miss Hayne 20    By the bye Sir E Head 21 is in Sept to go as Govr. Genl. of Canada & takes Chip Drury 22 with him – Edwards & Willan board here – we have Major & Mrs. Rose 23 & Lt. Barnston 24 55, 25 & the Paymaster of 28 & wife, old people, 26 The Men leave for Varna today, & so do I. – The ladies all stay in Constantinople – Yesterday Edwards Willan & I rode out to the Sweet Waters of Europe – I like my horse very much & did well so far as that he is better than most horses here & was far cheaper – he is also better broken in & very steady – I could sell him for £10 more than I gave for him if I wished
 
In addition to the Shirts (flannel) I sent for I want you to look over my things & send me out the old gold lace for Trowsers & for a forage cap – The best way of sending would I think, be by the Ocean Parcels Delivery Company 4 Agar St. Strand Advertisement in Times 5 lb 5/- 10 lbs 7/6 & so on directed to the care of the A.C.G. Smith 27 or Sen: Comm: Offr. Constantinople 28 I suppose they send by every direct Turkey mail on the 28 or 29th of each month – Your letters should be posted on, or before, the 3.13.23.  8.18.28 of any month these being the mail days either direct or Via Malta – the mails leave this for you 5.10.15.20.25. & 30 in same way –   2 P.M. 28th. I shall be off early tomorrow morning by a large Steamer The “Tonning” I am sorry to say the French Steamer is back but can give no further account of my portmanteau but that they landed everything at Varna – So I fear there is a very good chance of my losing it – Uniform Coat, Dress Belt [sp?] Trousers White Trowsers &c. &c. Crammed full in fact
 
I cannot blame either my Servant or myself for this loss – It was blowing hard & pitch dark & in fact I was in expectation of going overboard myself   I may get it at Varna. – Everybody in the Department is most sincerely disgusted at the Service here – 1st at Mr. Filder whose treatment of them individually has been bad & his system of Work disgracefully bad & unbusinesslike   So say both D.C.G. Stickney 29 & Smith 30 and more than all at the Department having no Promotion    The whole Army look down on the Dept. & say openly if we were worth our Salt we should have been promoted – Watt 31 is going home sick D.C.G. Cowan 32 very ill & several others are ill hard work & exposure do this – God bless you all – My object 33 here will I hope sustain me through it at all events I shall not readily give in – Smith has been very civil to me & sends comps. &c. to you   Mrs. S 34 & family at Corfu.
 
[Written across the page.] I now Close this as I do not know exactly what my movements are – but so far I am well & have done well in every thing except as regards my Portmanteau – Love to all & believe me ever
 
Your Affectionate Hub
W. H. Drake

 

 
WH Drake Journal
 
July 28. Up at 6. Commenced a letter to Lou. Ordered to proceed to Varna by the steamer "Tonning" 35 Capt. Francklin [sic], sent horses & baggage on board. The steamer delayed, took a Kayak & went with Edwards 36 & Willan 37 to see the Sweet Waters of Asia. Great crowd of Turks & Turkish ladies, Greeks & Armenians. Evening we took a walk to hear the Band. Band very inferior. The best play every Friday at Buukdere [sic].
 
July 29th. Belle Vue Hotel Constantinople. Up at 7. Went to see Stamboul with Edwards. Saw Galata Tower, Sultan Mahoud's Tomb & Baths, Sultan Achmed's Tomb, Mosque & Baths. The Great Bazaar & other things. We then took a Turkish bath & got shampooed. Went to Office. Finished my letter to Lu & gave it to Smith to send & went on board "Tonning" off Scutari at 6 O'clock. Edwards went with me. Gertrude de No [sic] Transport lying alongside taking in Powder & Shells. Departure delayed. (Steamer "Tonning" North of Europe Company Capt. Franklyn, Ch. Off. Mr. Rivers. Purser Mr. Jwery [sic].)
 
 

Tomb of Sultan Ahmet I

Tomb of Sultan Ahmet I, Istanbul.
(Photo: Bruce Cook, 1994.)



Bruce Cook Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
(Photo: Bruce Cook, 1994.)



Bruce Cook Turkish Bath

Turkish Bath, Istanbul.
(Photo: Bruce Cook, 1994.)



Bruce Cook Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque, Istanbul.
(Photo: Bruce Cook, 1994.)




 
 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015 —
Footnotes
 
1. Private family manuscript (Judith Hall and Sally Mac, Auckland, New Zealand).
 
2. Rear-Adm. Marie Charles Adelbert De Tinan.
 
3. Michel Ney, Prince de la Moskova, Duc of Elschingen. His son, Michel Louis Félix Ney, died at Gallipoli on 14 July 1854, aged 49.
 
4. 4th King’s Own Regiment of Foot.
 
5. Surgeon Richard Francis Valpy De Lisle, 4th Regiment.
 
6. CG William Filder, C.B.
 
7. ACG Philip Turner.
 
8. DACG James Augustus Frederick Mitchell.
 
9. DACG Arthur William Downes.
 
10. Possibly Mr. J. Halcott Fendall.
 
11. Pratique: Intercourse or communication between the place which a ship leaves, and the port at which she arrives; hence, a license or permission to hold intercourse and trade with the inhabitant of a place after having performed quarantine, or upon a certificate that the ship did not come from an infected place – a term used particularly in the south of Europe. [A household dictionary of the English language, p. 569.]
 
12. DCG John William Smith.
 
13. ACG Alexander Edwards.
 
14. ACG James Sholto Curwen Douglas-Willan.
 
15. DCG Thomas Stickney had retired on 11 August 1846.
 
16. DACG Benedict/Benedict John Montanaro.
 
17. DACG Conrad Frederick Potgieter.
 
18. Major Henry Draper Neville, and his wife, Eliza Jane (née Hayne), of New Brunswick. They were married on 26 May 1849 at Fredericton.
 
19. Possibly the wife of Capt. Philip Bedingfeld, Royal Artillery, 12th Brigade.
 
20. Probably Charlotte Augusta Hayne, sister of Eliza Jane Neville. Charlotte Augusta Hayne married Ward Chipman Drury on 26 September 1855 at Fredericton, New Brunswick.
 
21. Sir Edmund Walker Head was Governor of New Brunswick (1847-1854), and then of Canada (1854-1861).
 
22. Ward Chipman Drury, Registrar of Deeds at St. John, New Brunswick, who in 1860 was acting as Sir Edmund Head’s A.D.C.
 
23. Major John Baillie Rose, 55th Regiment, and his wife Ellen Phyllis (née Pattinson).
 
24. Lieutenant William Barnston, 55th Regiment.
 
25. 55th Westmoreland Regiment of Foot.
 
26. Lieutenant George Thomas Benson was Paymaster of the 28th Regiment in 1854. He had served, and been wounded, in the Peninsular war, and had also served in New South Wales with his regiment.
 
27. ACG John William Smith.
 
28. The London Times of 6 November 1854 (p. 1:1) contains an advertisement for the Ocean Parcels Delivery Co., 4 Agar St., Strand, opposite Charing Cross Hospital, for despatches for Constantinople etc.
 
29. DCG Thomas Stickney.
 
30. ACG John William Smith.
 
31. DACG Fitzjames Edward Watt.
 
32. ACG Edward Alphonso Frederick Cowan.
 
33. Henry’s object throughout the Crimean Campaign was to gain his promotion.
 
34. Agnes Campbell Smith (née Macarthur/Mcarthur).
 
35. TRANSPORTS. The Tonning>, iron paddle, Captain Franklyn, belonging to the North of Europe Steam Navigation Company, has been chartered by the British government as a steam transport, and has arrived at Portsmouth Dockyard to be fitted for service. She will receive on board five officers, 200 men, and 58 horses, with which she will proceed to the Black Sea. ["Multiple News Items." Standard [London, England] 22 June 1854: n.p. 19th Century British Newspapers. Web. 8 May 2015.]
 
36. ACG Alexander Edwards.
 
37. Acting ACG James Sholto Curwen Douglas-Willan.
 
 
 

 
© COPYRIGHT MEGAN STEVENS 2015
Drake Letters Index 9. Drake to Louisa 17 July 1854 ◄ ● ► 11. Drake to Louisa 4 August 1854